Cubs doing double duty (vs. Sox and Team Japan)
GLENDALE, Ariz. _ Happy to be back in Arizona and with the Cubs. It’s a bonus day as I get to see the White Sox, too. Today’s Cubs-Sox game starts at 2 Chicago time, an hour earlier than normal. Over in Mesa, the Cubs will take on Team Japan. The Japanese media number in the triple digits at HoHoKam Park.
To quote the late, great Jerome Holtzman, “I arrived at HoHoKam Park in good time” to get caught up with a lot of folks. We’ll get to a few things here on this blog, including the lineup. Let’s do a few housekeeping notes first:
--Pitcher Starling Peralta was returned to the Cubs by the Arizona Diamondbacks today. The D’acks had claimed Peralta in the Rule 5 draft in December. At Class A Peoria last year, Peralta was 5-8 with a 3.44 ERA.
--Center fielder Brett Jackson has some “on-and-off” soreness in his right (throwing) shoulder. Manager Dale Sveum said it doesn't hurt Jackson to bat.
--Center-field prospect Albert Almora, the Cubs’ top pick in last year’s draft, broke the hamate bone in his left hand and likely will not play in a game until May (probably for the Kane County Cougars after some Arizona rehab). The bone doesn’t serve much purpose, so Almora is having the bone removed.
--Infielder-outfielder Junior Lake is down at minor-league camp as he rehabs from a rib injury.
Our main “take” for the Saturday newspaper (up online tonight) will be on the third-base situation. Ian Stewart played in a minor-league game Thursday, leading off every inning for both teams. He said he won. Stewart said he had some soreness afterward but felt fine this morning. He is not playing today. Luis Valbuena plays here against the Sox, and Josh Vitters starts against Team Japan. Vitters played in his first spring game yesterday. He is suffering the same injury as Stewart.
Let’s do lineups.
The pitcher is Scott Feldman.
Gavin Floyd is the pitcher. Also for the Sox, catcher Tyler Flowers was a late scratch because of back stiffness.
We’ll do our best to get some notes from both teams in the paper. Our Sox writer, Scot Gregor, will be down here in a day or two to handle the South Siders.